Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

Why would ANYBODY vote for us?

Friday, October 28th, 2016

The Greens are (pretty much, for now) seen as a ‘fringe party’, made up of people who already know what’s facing the world and our country; and who tend to have a coherent set of integrated solutions that can create a better Scotland and a better world.  One where people will work together and focus on making & doing things that help the world & its people; rather than what brings in a profit (and to hell with the future & anybody else).

Mostly we’re irrelevant to the lives of people – most people don’t vote for that vision.

  • Is it because people don’t WANT that vision?  
  • Is it because people don’t KNOW about that vision?  
  • Is it because people can’t see HOW to get from HERE to that visionary place?   
  • Or is it US?

We know that when presented with a “blind-taste test” of the policies of various political parties that many – even most – people like what Greens stand for; and they often like it more than other parties’ policies.  So why don’t they VOTE for us?

Children across the world and in every culture recognise inequality and actively share with each other.  But as adults, we’ve (mostly) learned to put ourselves first, to put away & hide & not let out the ‘childish’ sense of fairness.

So are Greens ‘childish’ – and is our vision then a lovely idea but not possible in the “real” world of pain and struggle and survival?  Is it TOO SCARY for many people to think about the possibility of a better future, when their own future and the planet’s future looks so bleak?  When they’ve locked-away their childish barefoot glee?

Do we as Greens need to help people regain that “childish” sense of fairness and wonder; that sense that things SHOULD be better and we WILL make efforts to make it so?

Do we need to actively ask people “What is YOUR vision for the world, for Scotland, for your neighbourhood”?  So that we can engage again with the desire for ‘rightness’ in the world? So that they can find their energy again?  So that all of us can begin to remake this part of our world.

Nothing empowers and energises people more than a vision of what things COULD BE; and the awareness that THEY and WE can be the change to help that vision stay awhile in our streets, our country, our world.

As well as unlocking people’s hope and visions, maybe we need to spend more time helping people to see the tracks from now to better; to shape those tracks and beat a path through brambles so that others’ paths are easier?  If folk can’t see how to get to the goal, how can we expect them to take the first steps out of comfort zones?

And is it US?  How do WE appear to ‘ordinary’ people?  Do we come across as hopeless visionaries?  As a bunch of “it’s all right for them, they’re well-off and middle-class” people? Even though two-thirds of our members earn less than £20k a year – we’re hardly the well-off!!!

How often do we go to where the voters are and start from THEIR lives?  Or do we mostly ask voters to come across to where OUR lives are?  Why would that appeal to anyone not already on our wavelength?

This is not about beating ourselves up for being lucky or making ethical choices or whatever.  It’s about stepping-back and asking ourselves WHY – if our IDEAS are so popular –aren’t we and/or our Party forming governments and majorities in councils?

What do we have to do to make ourselves ATTRACTIVE to those we don’t appeal to?

For a start; we must show off more! How many of us are active in community bodies, local charities and voluntary groups, but no-one knows we’re in the Greens?   ALL of us should wear our badges, and not be afraid or embarrassed at saying “I’m a Green and I’m doing XYZ because it matches my Green principles”.

People will vote for parties and candidates who they see making an ACTIVE difference in their communities and being reliable and a friend to those in need.  Until we’ve got enough visible elected members, we must ALL show off our ‘good deeds’.

Let us be judged on our deeds and let our deeds be visible and proud!

One Response to “Why would ANYBODY vote for us?”

  1. Hi,

    Being visible as a Green is a starting point. We need to move beyond talking about composting and recycling. Into the real world of ‘big’ politics. At present the culture is distinctly Marxist. Efforts of members at conference to define the party as Green are lost. When the socialist members sing come all ye with comrade fists. This will ensure that we remain in the margins. How do we move forward is debatable. But let’s try… Talk to friends and family about why we joined, I think some will listen. Patrick said join our cause…Take the reasons why you are in the party and talk us up. It honestly works. Let’s take ourselves seriously, reform party structures, open up debate about inclusion, transparency and leadership issues. Get women onto all the committees… A big shopping list. Onwards and upwards!! 😉

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